|MadSci Network: Physics|
In a gas discharge tube is simple air. When high voltage AC is applied to this tube and the pressure is low enough the gases will glow, naturally. At one point, though, the gas pressure is at a point where something very strange happens. Instead of the usual beam of charged particles streaming across the tube, the beam of light has several large and quite distinct "breaks" every so often. The pattern in which the beam of light is present/absent is: A beam of light at the cathode, then an equal absence, then an equal beam of light, then an equal absence, then the center of the tube has an equal beam of light, then an equal absence, then an equal beam of light, then an equal absence, then an equal beam of light at the anode. This phenomenon has remained a mystery to many a physics teacher and everyone who sees it occur. What causes this strange "breaking" phenomenon in the gas discharge tube?
Re: Electron/Ion Beams 'Breaking' in a Gas Discharge Tube
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